Last year, reader Wayne inspired what we can now call a holiday season Gripe Line tradition: The Bob Cratchit Hall of Fame.
The idea came about when Wayne wrote in to relay a positive experience he had with the Dell outlet. Why not take a cue from the should-have-been-miserable Bob Cratchit, who found few kind words to say about Ebenezer Scrooge, his cruel, stingy boss in "A Christmas Carol?"
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Surely we can each recall something positive from our IT experiences of the past year.
Of course, some in the Gripe Line community balked at the notion of the Cratchit awards last year. As Barry (aka Scrooge) put it:
When a company is doing what it should do, it's called "business as usual." They get no credit for this. ... It's what they should be doing. (It's like someone throwing a party when I take out the trash.) What I need to know is who is not doing what they should be doing. I think it's the job of this column to point that out. (Hence, the title "Gripe Line.")
Others, however, found kind words for everyone from the IRS to Microsoft and Gateway. And several people sent e-mails encouraging the Cratchit Hall of Fame because they felt, when it comes to service, it is just as important to know who has been nice as it is to know who has been naughty.
Look at it this way: Cratchit's wife and kids weren't really with Bob either when he wanted to thank Scrooge for their "feast," but it was Cratchit's toast that turned Scrooge's life around. I'll bet that many of you have had a positive experience and intended to send the tech support person, customer service representative, company founder, or genius who had that idea that saves you time every day, or the Web service that serves you perfectly a letter of thanks. Maybe you never got around to it. Maybe you didn't know where to send it. Now is your chance.
Think of it as a Christmas present for someone who delivered when it counted the most.
Send your entries to the Bob Cratchit Hall of Fame (and your gripes) to firstname.lastname@example.org.